The Nation’s schools celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Day on May 7. In most every state, we send “thank you” emails, cards, flowers, and other gifts. The usual. I suppose it is a good thing, and in my organizations we will do the same. It is basic common decency to thank those who give great service to our Nation, and especially to our kids.
How about an unique approach to “appreciating” teachers. A few come to mind:
1. Start with Pay. Once we align our state and local budgets with what we say we value, then teachers, and all educators for that matter, will earn much, much more. In Illinois for example, the charter schools my colleagues and I lead, we are forced to operate at greater than $5,000 LESS per child than other comparable public schools.
2. Provide relevant coaching and support systems. Once we fully hone every school leaders’ craft with strong instructional acumen, then we can get about the work of great coaching for teachers. Until then, many teachers must endure the same old rhetoric coming from so-called leaders’ mouths.
3. Follow that with real personalized training for teachers. If we can differentiate teaching for children in very personalized ways, we can do so for teachers.
4. Finally, it’s time to get teachers back to the table in the work of planning, innovating, and propelling our Nation’s schools forward. Note: I didn’t write, getting teacher unions back to the table. Teachers and teacher unions are not the same.
I suppose that May 7 and everyday is a good day to show teachers that we appreciate them.
Have a great week!